Since Bucharest is such a large city – and still the biggest tourist attraction in Romania – I’ve decided to share with you the best areas to stay in Bucharest. I believe that the recommendations in this article will be perfect both for those looking to move to Bucharest and those planning to visit for a shorter or longer period of time.
If you’re just passing through Bucharest and proximity to the airport is more important than exploring the city itself, I already have you covered with an article on the best Bucharest hotels near the airport.
Best Area to Stay When in Bucharest
1. Old Town / Unirii Square
You can rarely go wrong by choosing the central area of a city. In Bucharest’s case, this is definitely the place I would recommend everybody to stay in. The Old Town is the place where you can find great restaurants and pubs, all sorts of shops and night life as well.
In terms of accommodation options, you’ve got everything from luxury hotels to budget friendly ones and even hostels. This is clearly the touristic area of the city and most of the hotels are here.
However, despite the fact that the area is touristy, prices at restaurants, attractions and entertainment places are still low since this is also the area that many students visit. If you’re looking to rent, though, you’ll find some of the biggest prices in the city, but you always have to pay extra for living in a premium area.
Here is a map of the area that I consider to be the best to live in or stay in when in Bucharest:
Situated near the Herastrau park in a premium location, this is an exclusive area of the city with prices matching its legacy. There are mostly villas built in the area and chances are you’ll meet some of the biggest shots in the city while walking the streets of Primaverii neighborhood.
This is a residential area, though and definitely better suited for those with both a high monthly budget and those looking at longer term stays in the city. This means that there are very few hotels in the area. I actually believe the Hotel Helvetia is the only and best bet there.
Here’s the area on the map:
Other good areas in Bucharest
If you want to keep costs under control or you simply want to move away from the hustle and bustle of the central areas, there are a few other places that we can consider solid for living especially for longer periods of time.
This is a great area, not far away from the city center but very close to two very important things, in my opinion: public transportation and the huge (and pretty amazing) Tineretului park. The small neighborhood in the 4th District is becoming more and more popular every day. A great option!
Here is the small neighborhood on a map:
I might be a little bit biased here because most of the time I spent living in Bucharest was in this area. However, I still consider it a great option as it offers many options in terms of public transportation, there are shopping malls and restaurants within walking distance basically any place you choose and you only have three metro stations from Dristor to Unirii where the Old Town awaits. Plus, there’s the beautiful Titan Park nearby for some fresh air an enjoying nature.
And here is a map of the area I consider the best choice for living in Dristor or Titan:
All in all, chances are that, no matter where you will live in Bucharest, you will always have supermarkets, shops, bars and restaurants nearby, even though their quality and quantity differs based on the area you chose. This is why I believe that the central areas are the best for most expats or travelers, but those who want a more authentic “living in Romania” experience have other options as well.
Areas it’s best to stay away from
Although most areas and districts in Bucharest can be considered safe, there are some areas in the city that even Romanians looking for a new home try to stay away from: Ferentari and Rahova. These neighboring districts have a really bad reputation and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I also think that staying away from the Drumul Taberei district is a good idea because you have fewer public transport options, as the inauguration of the metro lines there gets delayed year after year.
In the end, the outskirts of the city can usually be considered areas to stay away from, not necessarily because they are dangerous – since most of them are not – but because of the huge distances to the city center and things of interest.
On the other hand, it’s usually the outskirts of the city where new buildings are being built, offering better options than the small communist apartments you can normally find in the city.
Now that you know what the best areas in Bucharest are, why not plan your next move by checking out my article on the top things to see and do in the city? There’s a lot more, of course, but ticking these off the list is definitely a must!